Boreas

Boreas, most adverse, whose breath is frost,
Who catches all abroad and does accost
Them; bitter cold you bring upon the air,
And woodland creatures you won’t deign to spare.
Whoe’er would face you meets a biting foe,
Who ceases not to hinder and to blow.
But yet, like all the gods, your harshest face
Through trials strengthens all the human race.
What’s more you break the summer’s burning heat,
And send the former warmth into retreat,
And thus, auspicious, grant a sweet respite,
On ether taking as you will your flight.

Hephaistos II

Hephaistos, god investing nature’s frame
With energies residing in the flame,
And fashioning with Aphrodite’s aid
Forms fit for use, on gods and men arrayed;
You fitted Eros with his deadly darts,
Zeus’ mighty aegis was forged by your arts,
You built the chariot driven by the Sun,
And Venus’ girdle by your hands was spun.
The sandals Hermes wears upon his feet,
The arms with which Achilles was replete,
By cunning craft, you made within the fire.
Automatons that work and never tire
You placed within Olympus. All whose hands
Are masterful both here, and in foreign lands,
These have their gifts from you; their minds are dressed
With needfulness, by which men’s souls are blest.

Hermes II

Hermes, cunning, the trickster god supreme,
Making suppositions, serpentine, to seem
As truth, and traveling to the underworld,
The knowledge cloaked in darkness is unfurled.
You pierce illusions, friend to man, and guide
To esoteric secrets, which you hide
From souls unworthy of the sacred arts,
But showering guile on deserving hearts.
By this are riches, seen and unseen, won.
Your skill with words sees stories charming spun.
Your sandals speeding through the Aether bright,
To Earth descending from Olympus’ height,
You herald all that Zeus would bid you say,
But many secrets still you store away.
Through traps guide all suppliants who embark
Into the underworld: steer them through the dark.

Aigle, or Health

The queen of riches, bounteous in gifts,
Whose kindness quickens, beautifies, and lifts,
Is Health, the goddess, who gives life its charm –
Else all is evil, bitterness, and harm.
Who lacks your favour, soon makes friends with Death,
And flies to him with their last rattling breath:
But whom you bless has strength in all his limbs,
And vigour touching all his hopes and whims.
With shining skin and sparkling eyes he goes;
His active mind like water smoothly flows.
On paths uneven, yet his feet are sure;
He runs and swims, and faints not. To endure
Whatever trial taxes not his frame;
He stands upright and stoops not, nor is lame.
No better wealth in all the world is found:
Whom you forsake to wretchedness is bound
But let it not be such with us, but bless
Our lives, and free our minds from all distress.

Eros

Eros, king of tyrants, destroying one,
Who’er you touch is weakened and undone.
Your poison tortures more than deadly force,
And yet you laugh, and never feel remorse;
And those you strike, you torment and destroy,
And their destruction fills your heart with joy.
Who’d rise from Chaos, you bring down again,
Whether they be gods or merely mortal men.
By cheating wiles and lies you trick your foes,
And make them love your softly killing blows.
Devouring fire, and all-consuming lust
That brings men down, like Troy, into the dust.
The king of archers, terrible to see,
You cut men down, even as they try to flee.
Unconquered, conquering all your enemies;
Your fire spreading through them like a disease.
Undoing order, everywhere you spread,
If body live, the soul you leave for dead.
Be merciful and stay your killing hand,
That some might be still left alive to stand.

Cygnus, the Swan

The swan of heaven, we could but call it Zeus,
For in this form, he acted out a ruse;
And Nemesis was fooled, and thought to save
Him from the eagle’s grasp, and thus, the grave.
But, the bird of prey was the goddess of
Tyranny itself, that is to say, of Love:
Aphrodite chased the king of heaven,
And in her lap Nemesis made a haven,
And Zeus as Cygnus settled there, until
She fell asleep, and then he took his fill;
The rape accomplished, he flew to the sky;
And so that none might say it was a lie,
He placed a swan of stars to fly at night,
Eternally to show itself in flight.
But Nemesis brought forth an egg, whose yolk
In time grew up, and by her beauty broke
That city, which was most renowned in fame,
But luxury had made it weak and tame;
For Helen brought about the fall of Troy
(How often Venus’ charms weaken and destroy!).
By Zeus, in eastern skies the Bird remains,
A nightly sight to all the rustic swains.

Night

Night, mother goddess of both Space and Day,
And birthed from Chaos, first that e’er held sway.
You hound the dusk and banish Day below,
Until the Dawn returns with rosy glow.
Your reign is greatest in the winter time;
You conquer and your triumph is sublime.
The scorching heat of summer you relieve;
In your embrace the weary find reprieve.
Your children, Sleep and Death, are comfort to
The soul whose work, whose day, whose life is through.
The horses of your chariot are black,
And darkness is your shield from all attack.
In you the truth is hidden from the sight,
And none can wrest it from you by their might.
Though many fear, in you no fright is found
But quiet, peace, and wisdom all abound.

Mars II

Hail Mars, War’s triumphant God,
Who storms through all the host,
Who makes the shout and clamour
Of battle his own boast.
With spear and shield he thunders,
And all the earth does shake;
And where he goes there follows
Grim Terror in his wake.
He drives his car and slaughters,
Until the field is red
And rushing like Scamander
From fallen foes who’ve bled;
Their wounds like springing fountains
Gush forth a purple stream,
While Mars filled full of fury
Gives out a howling scream.
Who wins the field is favoured
By Mars; he beats his foes,
Until they fall down battered
Bruised by his crushing blows.

Cassiopeia

Cassiopeia, queen whose awful boast
Brought Poseidon’s wrath up on all the coast;
For she was vain, and thought herself supreme,
And in her fancy, her fictitious dream
She took for truth, declaring she was best
In beauty; and for this the god distressed
The nation, but with all the others she
Was placed in heaven for all mankind to see.
When Archer rises, then she does the same,
And sets when Scorpion rises. But her shame,
It still remains: Zeus set her upside down;
For on her pride, the God did rightly frown:
So she revolves head downwards for all time
To mark her folly, and shame her for her crime.

Andromeda

Athena, goddess who sprang from the mind
Of Zeus, in whom all wisdom is refined,
In whom perfection of all things is found,
Who makes all heaven by his will move round,
She placed Andromeda on high to show
The deeds of Perseus, when he dwelt below.
With arms outstretched, Andromeda appears,
As though the serpent still its head uprears;
From this did Perseus deliver her,
And after this her woman’s will did spur
Her to abandon father, mother, home,
And to set off with Perseus to roam
The earth with him, wherever he did lead,
Though her father and mother both did plead
That she should stay with them: but she refused;
For by their weakness she had been abused.
‘Gainst the Nereids did her mother boast,
And so the serpent had ravaged their coast;
Her father being weak declined to fight,
Nor would he punish his wife for her slight.
But he determined his posterity
He’d sacrifice to the monster of the sea.
The hero saved Andromeda by force,
And so, she wisely chose the stronger horse.
In heaven she was placed to mark these deeds,
And he who would be wise all heaven heeds;
For, by the gods is written in the sky
The wisdom by which all ascend on high.